Dodgers on the edge of edge of elimination after Game 3 loss to Padres

On the night of the Padres’ first home playoff game in front of a crowd in 16 years, their fans were treated to another sight that felt almost as rare.

With a 2-1 win in Friday’s Game 3 of the National League Division Series, the Padres defeated the Dodgers in a way they’ve seldom done in years and once again brought the majors’ best offense in the regular season Silence to win two games a series lead and brought the Dodgers’ season to the brink.

“We need to play better baseball,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Shortstop Trea Turner added: “For us it’s win or go home. We have to make it.”

If the Dodgers’ loss in Game 2 was a red flag, Friday’s performance at a packed and packed Petco Park was a red alert.

Their bullpen game of a pitching plan was tenuous but effective.

Their conflicting defenses were shaky but not deadly.

Instead, the Dodgers’ star-studded lineup was nothing short of a dud in the most surprising but also achingly familiar lack of their divisional series yet, managing just six hits against Blake Snell and four Padres reliefs on Friday — and none with runners in goal position for one second game in a row.

Game 4 will be played again at Petco Park on Saturday night.

And if the Dodgers don’t win, their historic 111-win season will come to a shocking end.

“Here we are,” Roberts said. “It was a very good regular season, but like I said, that doesn’t matter.”

That was clear from the start on Friday evening.

Early on, the Dodgers were frustrated by Snell, who had six strikeouts in a masterful 5-1/3 inning start; the umpires calling several Dodgers batsmen for question shots and check swing calls; and himself, with Mookie Betts stranded at second base in the first inning before the bases remained loaded in the third.

They got little help from starter Tony Gonsolin, who gave up the game’s opening run during a shaky 31-pitch first inning and then was pulled with an out in the second inning after consecutive singles.

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin prepares to compete in Game 3 of the NLDS on October 14, 2022.

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin lasted just 1 1/3 innings in Game 3 of the NLDS, a 2-1 loss for LA. He gave up four hits and one run.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Then Trent Grisham brought down the house with a solo blaster in the fourth inning from a center-cut fastball by reliever Andrew Heaney, leading to a Padres crowd starving the recent postseason success (their last home playoff game with fans was the NLDS in 2006) or against the Dodgers (who have won the regular-season series in the rivalry for 12 straight years) to erupt in a sea of ​​waving yellow towels and incredulous cheers.

“There was so much momentum in place,” said Padres manager Bob Melvin, “that it was hard not to pull it off.”

The Dodgers certainly didn’t respond.

The Padres' Trent Grisham, right, celebrates his solo homer with Manny Machado during the fourth inning on October 14, 2022.

The Padres’ Trent Grisham, right, celebrates his solo homer with Manny Machado during the fourth inning of Game 3 of the NLDS on Friday night.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Even the one inning in which they slapped a run also underscored their sudden struggles at the plate.

At the top of the fifth, the team had runners in second and third place with no outs and the top of the order was imminent.

It should have been the recipe for one of their signature big innings.

It could have been the sequence to swing the game and series.

Instead, the Dodgers faltered again after a Betts victim fly made it 2-1, advancing another runner into third.

Turner fell into a 1-and-2 hole and then blasted a fastball off the plate for a pop-up in poor ground.

Freeman swung on the first pitch but was jammed in third by an inside fastball for a routine grounder to end the inning.

The Dodgers' Trea Turner reacts after a pop-up fly during the fifth inning.

The Dodgers’ Trea Turner reacts after fouling third base in the fifth inning.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

When the Dodgers missed another opportunity in game six, eventually chasing Snell out with a Max Muncy double but eventually stranding him there as well, it set an ignominious high of the season and left them down to 0 with runners in goal position for their last 19 fall Back to Game 1 – a slide they previously only achieved in mid-June and late September this season.

What’s worse, the only Dodger to reach base the rest of the night was Turner, who not only was initially stranded after a leadoff single in eighth place, but got his finger jammed on a pickoff attempt, causing him in doubt for Game 4 on Saturday. X-rays after the game were negative.

Blame for the Dodgers’ current predicament can be directed in many ways.

Betts, Freeman and Turner went two for ten on Friday, batting in the series to a combined .235.

Justin Turner is one of 10 this week, leading a group of underperformers at the bottom of the lineup.

The entire team still hasn’t adjusted against the Padres bullpen, who have now pitched 13 scoreless innings in the series.

And it all melds in their struggles with runners in goal position, which Roberts conceded could have something to do with an overly aggressive approach to the plate.

“You can see these guys [the Padres] With runners in the goalscoring position, they attack more, they use most of the field,” Roberts said. “I think we’re hyper-aggressive early on and don’t stay on the ball.”

As a result, the Dodgers face a situation that seemed far-fetched earlier in the week: they can win back-to-back games on consecutive days or watch their season burst into brown and yellow flames in the second week of the postseason. Dodgers on the edge of edge of elimination after Game 3 loss to Padres

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